Site 13: Lawrence W. Inlow Hall (IH)
Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis
530 W. New York St.

Lawrence W. Inlow Hall
Courtesy of IUPUI

The Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis dates its history to 1893, when the privately run Indiana School of Law opened in Indianapolis. Several professors from the DePauw School of Law, which had recently closed, founded the school. About twenty years later, a 1914 merger of evening law programs into the Benjamin Harrison Law School in Indianapolis provided the Indiana School of Law with a partner in its endeavors. The two schools worked together, with the Indiana School of Law offering day courses and the Benjamin Harrison Law School offering evening courses. The two schools eventually merged in 1936. Between the financial losses of the Great Depression and the decrease in enrollment due to World War II, the school soon found itself in financial trouble and in 1944 merged with Indiana University. Indianapolis became the location for IU’s evening law program, while Bloomington remained the full-time day program. The two schools rarely interacted, however, and in 1968 the Board of Trustees of Indiana University granted the Indianapolis law school full autonomy from Bloomington. That same year, the Indianapolis law school instituted its full-time day program. By 1970, the law school had outgrown the Maennerchor Building (formerly at the corner of Illinois and Michigan St.), its home since 1946, and moved into a new home. In 1973, the law school’s name officially changed to the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. The school’s current home, the Lawrence W. Inlow Hall, opened in 2001. 1

"Maennerchor Building Exterior, n.d.," UA24-004044,
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives

In the law school’s early history, women did not play visible roles in its growth and development. In fact, no women appear among the names of the school’s founders or early faculty. This was not particularly unusual for the time, however, because although Antoinette Dakin Leach’s 1893 Indiana Supreme Court victory guaranteed Indiana women the right to practice law, the legal profession remained dominated by men. In fact, almost a century later in 1991, a report of the Indiana Bar noted that women still faced challenges in practicing as lawyers. 2 Despite these challenges, women did persevere and eventually gained faculty positions at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. Many have enhanced the school’s reputation. In particular, Florence McMaster was especially successful in working to improve the school.

Law School Exterior, ca. 1970, UA24-003930
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives

Florence McMaster
Director of Law Library

In Florence McMaster’s twenty-seven years as a law librarian at Indiana University’s Indianapolis law school, she succeeded in transforming the school’s library into a top-notch legal resource. McMaster came to the law school as the head librarian in 1946, just as the school was taking up residency in the Maennerchor Building on Michigan St. In those early years, the library was far from an established center of research, containing only 10,500 volumes. As director of the library, McMaster spent the better part of her career increasing the library’s holdings, and by the time of her death had expanded the collection to over 125,000 volumes. 3

In 1956, McMaster pioneered a research workshop for new law students that oriented them with important sources for legal research before they began their coursework. It was the only program of its kind in the country. During this time, McMaster also attended classes at the law school and graduated with her law degree in 1961. She was sworn in to practice law at the Indiana Supreme Court and the Federal District Courts. That same year, McMaster won the American Jurisprudence prize in comparative law. McMaster also published many articles on legal research. After completing her law degree, she became an assistant professor of law, and became a full professor in 1972. 4

Besides transforming the law library’s collections and helping students learn to use legal resources, McMaster was also actively involved on the larger IUPUI campus. She chaired the IUPUI council of librarians, which advised the Library Coordinating Committee on the development of IUPUI’s libraries. McMaster was also interested in women’s issues on campus. She became a founding member of the University Women’s Club in 1968. She also worked with Frances Rhome on IUPUI’s Commission on Women, a committee inaugurated to study problems associated with women on campus and also to investigate charges of sexual discrimination. 5

McMaster’s efforts on behalf of women and her interest in library work extended beyond IUPUI’s campus. She was an active member of the Altrusa women’s organization and the Women’s Political Caucus. She also served in a number of positions for library associations, including as vice-president of the Indiana chapter, Special Libraries Association and as chair of its manual revision committee. McMaster wrote items for the American Association of Law Librarians’ member publication, and chaired its publicity committee. 6

McMaster died July 16, 1973 in Malibu, California. The university established a memorial fund for Indianapolis’s law library in her honor. To all those who knew her, McMaster was remembered as “an untiring and persistent woman, proficient in her profession and a resourceful, successful teacher.” 7

 

1 For a full history of the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, see Ronald W. Polson, “History of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis,” Indiana Law Review, 28 (1994-5), 161-182.

2 Vivian Sue Shields and Suzanne Melanie Buchko, “Antoinette Dakin Leach: A Woman Before the Bar,” Valparaiso University Law Review, 28 (Summer 1994), 1189-230.

3 Reporter, 1 no. 4 (January 1958), 3; Reporter, 1 no. 3 (1957); “Law Librarian Gets LLB Degree on Schedule,” Reporter, 5 no. 3 (October 1961); Green Sheet, 33 no. 30; Florence McMaster Clipping File, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI.

4 Reporter, 3 no.1 (October 1959), 2; “Law Librarian Gets LLB Degree on Schedule”; Press Release, 19 May 1972, UA 064 Box 5, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives; Florence McMaster Clipping File.

5 Green Sheet, 1 no. 14 (11 April 1971), 3; “Club’s Planned for Women Employed in IU Indianapolis Division,” Reporter, 11 no. 4 (February 1968); Green Sheet, 2 no. 20 (14 May 1972).

6 Press Release, 1 October 1973, UA 064, Box 5, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives; Reporter, 4 no. 2 (November 1960), 4; Reporter, 5 no. 3 (Oct 1961).

7 Reporter, 5 no. 3 (October 1961); “Law Librarian Gets Her LLB Degree on Schedule.”

 

List of Sites

 

Site 1: Robert Long Hospital (LO) 1110 W. Michigan St.

 

Site 2: William H. Coleman Hospital for Women (CF)
1140 W. Michigan St.

 

Site 3: Ball Nurses’ Residence (BR)
1226 W. Michigan St.

 

Site 4: Riley Hospital for Children (RI)
702 Barnhill Dr.

 

Site 5: Fesler Hall (FH)
1120 South Dr.

 

* Site 6: Bobbs Merrill Company Building
122 E Michigan St

 

Site 7: Cavanaugh Hall (CA)
425 University Blvd.

 

Site 8: Natatorium (PE)
901 W. New York St.

 

Site 9: Eskenazi Hall (HR) (Herron School of Art)
735 W. New York St.

 

Site 10: Education/Social Work Building (ES)
902 W. New York St.

 

Site 11: University Library (UL)
755 W. Michigan St.

 

* Site 12: IUPUI Center for Women
1317 W Michigan St

 

Site 13: Lawrence W. Inlow Hall (IH) (School of Law)
530 W. New York St.

 

Site 14: Administrative Building (AO)
355 N. Lansing St.

 

 

(* former sites)

 

© Website Copyright 2007, Amy Schramm
© Content Copyright 2007, Mary Owen
For educational use only